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Case study: Mammoet details Dubai crane activities

Lifting specialist Mammoet details the extent of its current high-strength crane activities across Dubai, UAE

Mammoet was enlisted by SKAI Holdings to lift the trusses for Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah.
Mammoet was enlisted by SKAI Holdings to lift the trusses for Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah.

Mammoet has the highest-ever concentration of its high-strength cranes currently working in Dubai.

The Dubai skyline is the tallest in the world, growing from a fishing port to a mega-structure metropolis in the space of just a few decades. The development and construction work is continuing apace in the dynamic Emirate, with stunning architectural additions to the sea of skyscrapers appearing every year.

Such a wealth of construction work requires a vast amount of heavy-duty equipment to build the record-breaking structures that grace the developing city. Alongside the skyscrapers, another feature of the city’s skyline, which has been visible for the last few decades, are the many cranes lifting Dubai Municipality’s infrastructure into place. Mammoet cranes have supported several of the Emirate’s landmark projects over the years, including Dubai Metro and Dubai Mall.

These units have been part of the city’s skyline for some time. At present, there are four Mammoet super-heavy-lift cranes performing various complex lift jobs in Dubai. The cranes’ lifting capacities range from a 600-tonne crawler crane to the mega-sized 5,000-tonne ring crane. This is the only time in the history of Mammoet in Dubai that so many heavy-lift cranes have been operating simultaneously in the Emirate.

Mammoet is working on a selection of large-scale projects, including the construction of the presidential suite for the Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah. The hotel is being built by main contractor China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) on behalf of developer SKAI Holdings. Once complete, Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah will boast 481 rooms and 221 residences. The resort will also feature 10 restaurants, an 800-sqm spa, a 350-sqm gym, a 106m-long swimming pool, and a beach club. Completion of the complex is expected in late 2016.

Mammoet was contracted to assist with building the presidential suite, a bridge-like structure between the two main wings of the complex. The suite’s structure is supported by 10 trusses with weights ranging from 50 tonnes to 130 tonnes. The trusses needed to be mounted across the span between the complex’s two wings at a height of 60m.

The equipment needed to lift the trusses into place had to be positioned more than 100m away from the building, as the area around and in between the hotel’s structures was undergoing construction at the time, at such distance from the installation point, the lifting manoeuvre required precision planning, and specialised equipment to deliver the optimum combination of reach and strength.

Due to existing infrastructure on site, the only location to place the lifting equipment was on the beach in front of the complex. Usually in such circumstances, a 3,000-tonne heavy lift crane with a long reach would be used. However, there was limited space in which to install such a heavy crane. It would also have required extensive ground improvement work to the beach in front of the hotel in order to withstand its ground-bearing pressure.

Mammoet suggested a faster and more cost-effective approach, using a 1,600-tonne Terex CC8800 unit in combination with a smaller 600-tonne Liebherr LR1600 model to move the trusses into place through tandem lifts. Not only were the two cranes smaller than the 3,000-tonne model that would otherwise have been used, but they were also easier to assemble on the confined beach. They exerted lower ground-bearing pressure on the beach than a 3,000-tonne crane, requiring less ground-improvement work prior to the lift.

The manoeuvre required deft operators as the cranes had to perform a synchronised, 8m crawl during the lift. All the while, the duo had to support the load at maximum radius and load capacity for the height.

Commenting on the lift, Harold Leemhuis, crane supervisor at the site, says: “We had limited working space in which to assemble the cranes and we were executing the project in temperatures ranging between 40°C and 50°C. Our planning and experience with complex manoeuvres of this type and in those conditions ensured the lifting was carried out safely and precisely whilst limiting any potential delays to the overall project schedule.”

Nabil Akiki, CEO of SKAI Holdings, adds: “I am really impressed with Mammoet’s professionalism and commitment. It was the right decision to contract this critical job to [the company].”

In addition to Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Mammoet is working on a selection of other megaprojects, one of which requires both the mega-lifting Mammoet PTC 200 ring crane and the Liebherr LR13000 crawler. The former is able to lift up to 5,000 tonnes, and the latter, 3,000 tonnes. Availability of cranes with this kind of muscle is scares on an international scale. Having so many in Dubai at the same time is quite something.

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